Matrix Group celebrated the first anniversary of our Green Team by winning a Silver Award for our participation in the Arlington Green Games!
What have we learned from our experiences this past year?
There is one thing that you should ALWAYS put in the recycling bin
If you recycle nothing else, you should recycle aluminum. How hard is it to toss that soda can into the recycling bin rather than the waste bin? Making new aluminum cans from used cans takes 95% less energy than making them from virgin ore. Aluminum pie plates and foil should go in as well, but try to clean off the food waste before doing so.
There are some things that should NEVER be put in the recycling bin
Based on our visit to a local recycling center, where co-mingled recyclables are sorted and bailed for delivery to buyers, here are the big 3 that you should NEVER PUT IN THE RECYCLING BIN:
- Garden Hoses
- Loose Plastic Bags
Rinse it and Take Off the Cap, Please
While materials can be recycled with a certain amount of food/waste in them, and with the caps on, it makes the quality of the material lower. In addition, the more food left in the containers the stinkier the recycling centers get. So let’s help out these workers by rinsing the containers.
Hold the paper/cardboard back from the curb if it’s raining
Can the paper still be recycled? Usually. But paper muck slows down the huge processing machines at the recycling centers. This causes a backup that can then cause some loads to get turned away or dumped.
Your Custodial Service needs to be on board
If you’re in an office building, chances are that you have a custodial service coming around at night. If these staff aren’t on board with the recycling concept, or don’t understand your signs, you’ve got a problem. All of your efforts to wash, rinse, and recycle will be wasted if the custodian just dumps the recycling into the dumpster with everything else.
Industrial composting is the next big thing
EnviRelation is a commercial composting service that is game-changing in terms of waste volume going to the dump. We saw it in action at the EPA, and we’ve been manually doing it here at Matrix with Green Team volunteer labor. The result–we’ve seen our trash go down by 30%. With our landfills literally filling up, this is a huge part of the solution.
Being Green takes commitment from the top
It takes commitment to be green. Commitment takes time, and spare time is something that most companies don’t have in abundance. But once you have CEO buy-in, you can make the time.
What’s your experience been in making your office green?